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Portuguese Slang, Insults & Swear Words You Might Need to Know

Last updated: October 2019* | 19 Comments

Do you need to know Portuguese slang or Portuguese swear words? Probably not. Most of them (hopefully) won’t come up in your day-to-day conversations, but you will hear them or see them written down from time to time. 

You’ll hear them in traffic, particularly from taxi drivers. You might even hear them shouted at you. You will also see them written online, particularly in the comments section of Youtube and other questionable places on the internet. 

Some of these terms are politically incorrect, some are insulting, and some are harmless. Rather than try to slip them into conversation, it’s generally best just to know what they mean until you’ve heard them in context a little. 

Fixe

Fixe (pronounced feesh) means cool. 

giro/gira 

Giro or gira, depending on who or what you’re talking about, means pretty or cute. 

Tuga 

Tuga is slang for a Portuguese person (a Portuga). This used to be a derogatory that was mainly used in the former Portuguese African colonies, but is a word that the Portuguese have decided to own.  

Merda

Merda means shit. It’s commonly used in Portugal, and isn’t really considered that offensive. 

Desaparece

Desaparece means get lost (or disappear). 

Táss cuul

Táss cuul means it’s all good. You might also hear táss bem

Caralho

Literally caralho means cock or dick, but it’s often used to mean f*ck instead. Vai pró caralho, for example, literally means go to dick, but probably could translate as get to f*ck. 

Often you’ll see “de caralho” after a word and it’s essentially the same as adding the word f*cking before it. É do caralho, for example, means it’s f*cking hard. You can also say é fodido or é uma foda. Basically, the Portuguese have a lot of expressions for how hard things are.  

Pisso

Pisso is another word for dick. 

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo means go suck on the 5th leg of a horse. It’s pretty self explanatory, I guess. As to whether anyone actually says this, that depends on who you ask. There is a similar expression, vai mamar na cona da tia, which is a lot more offensive but maybe more suitable if there are no horses nearby. 

Cona

Cona is one of several words that means pussy. It’s closer to c*nt than pussy, and so can be seen as quite offensive. There are plenty of other words for pussy like xarocapachaça, and pêssego (peach) that are much less offensive. 

Puta

Puta means whore. 

Filho da puta

Filho de puta means son of a whore or son of a bitch. Anything that insults the mother is taken

Cabrão

Cabrão means asshole or bastard. 

Paneleiro

The English equivalent of paneleiro would be something like fag or queer. It’s not a very nice or politically correct term, but one that you might come across. 

Fodido

Fodido means f*cked, and normally it’s used to say that something is f*cked. It comes from the verb foder, which means to f*ck. 

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19 comments on “Portuguese Slang, Insults & Swear Words You Might Need to Know”

  1. Hi
    In Brazilian Portuguese, bicha is queer ( homosexual men ). It s not used to insult a woman.
    In Portuguese of Portugal, bicha is queue ( fila ).
    By the way “ pica “ in Portugal is injection ( medicament aplied with a syringe ) and in Brazilian Portuguese is dick..

    • I’ve seen it used in the same way in Portugal. I don’t know for sure, but I think the Brazilian meaning is becoming more widespread.

      It can also mean a queue, but I think it’s safer to use the word “fila” because of the double meaning of the word bicha.

      Hopefully a Portuguese person can comment and explain this better?

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